by Staff Writers
Windhoek (AFP) Aug 14, 2009
A Namibian court on Friday extended an asset freeze on three suspects arrested in a graft probe involving a firm linked to the son of China's President Hun Jintao.
"The existing rule is extended for another month to 14 September [as] there are more than reasonable grounds for believing that the defendants will be found guilty of the offences under the anti-corruption law," Judge Naomi Shivute ruled in the Windhoek high court.
The three suspects were granted bail in a lower court this week following their arrest last month as part of the probe into bribery allegations involving Nuctech, a company headed until last year by Hu's 38-year-old son, Hu Haifeng.
The high court has ordered state prosecutors to provide more evidence by September 14 as to why the assets should remain frozen.
Nuctech representative Yang Fan was granted bail of 250,000 Namibian dollars (31,000 US, 22,000 euros), while Namibian nationals Teckla Lameck and Jerobeam Mokaxwa each got bail of 50,000 Namibian dollars.
The three were arrested after the southern African state's Anti-Corruption Commission discovered that a 12.8 million US dollar down payment on 13 scanners had been diverted to a firm called Teko Trading. Their assets were also frozen.
Hu's son was president of Nuctech until last year, when he was promoted to Communist Party secretary of Tsinghua Holdings, which controls Nuctech and more than 20 other companies.
Nuctech has a Namibian government contract to supply security scanning equipment in a 55.3 million US dollar deal, paid for with a Chinese loan granted when President Hu visited the country in 2007.
All three accused later drew large sums from the Teko account, with Yang taking 16.8 million Namibia dollars, spending it on houses, farms and luxury cars.
Yang remains in the Windhoek Central Prison as his bail has not been paid.
"To date, the money has not yet been paid in and the suspect as a result has not been released yet," a high court official told AFP at noon Friday.
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